[Note: You should NOT use the above as the title for your paper–come up with a titles that reflects the THESIS of your paper, ie. that which you have distilled all this info down to, for your reader. By the way: …Who are your “readers”? You should NOT be thinking of your instructor as your audience, rather, these types of research papers should be intended for the uninformed public. Think of this genre of writing as an informative article that might be published in a mainstream magazine or website. Remember, you should consider your audience as uninformed on your topic—as a consequence, you will need to provide CONTEXT (background info/explanation) on things like the texts we have dealt with, specific terminology, sources, historical background, etc.]
ESSAY PROMPT (please look up this term if your are unsure of its meaning)
In the 1985 TV Showbiz world, Neil Postman was afraid that contemporary society was in danger of “amusing ourselves to death.” In Ch.11 of AOTD, he indicates that more of the same will come with the Digital Information Technological Age (Computer Age).
Update Postman’s perspective to 2021 by focusing on at least 2 relevant quotes/ideas from Ch.11 AND analyzing 2 specific, cited examples from our society today. In addition, this essay should integrate quoted/explained reference to the Economist article. Finally, this paper should ALSO include additional info/ideas/quotes from an academic peer-reviewed article that deals with Social Media, which is another media-related aspect that has become central to our contemporary society (and a development that Postman did not, of course, foresee in his predictions about the Digital Age, in Ch.11). Finding an academic peer-reviewed article on Social Media is the research component of this final paper assignment and its information needs to be explicitly connected to the other sources in the paper (not just tacked on as a separate topic). This means that the entire essay needs to have some sort of cohesive/connecting THESIS–think very carefully about what the Central Idea(s) of your paper is going to be. The Outline should help you with this–thinking about what you are going to be saying/your central Claim (Thesis), BEFORE beginning to write, is absolutely crucial!
ALSO: Take a moment to confirm for yourself the number of sources you should be working with in this project… [You will find the answer to this query further down, in the Works Cited section.]
1800words (quotes included) + OUTLINE + Works Cited (OUTLINE& Works Cited DO NOT count towards wordcount)
The OUTLINE is the KEY to your organizational strategy for this larger paper. The first step in this paper writing process will be completing an OUTLINE. The Preliminary OUTLINE will be turned in by itself (Due 12/1), then graded and returned to you for completion of this project. There will be a separate Assignment (see Assignments) where you turn in your Outline by 12/1, entitled “Preliminary Outline”.
NOTE: YOUR REVISED OUTLINE (which is REQUIRED, should be turned in again, when the final paper is due (TBA)), as the first page(s) of your Postman Paper document)
ALSO: OUTLINES should be SINGLE-SPACED! This allows you an easier overview of the entire project.
You should be thinking of your OUTLINE as your best friend and most potent weapon in ALL writing processes and projects. The OUTLINE is the place you can do your THINKING and ORGANIZING, before your mind has to focus on writing (and all that comes with it, like worrying about complete sentences, grammar, spelling, transitions, punctuation, etc. etc.)—PLEASE do not ask your mind to handle all the things that go into writing, while also trying to figure what to say, whether it is organized, complete and flows logically throughout the paper—this is TOO MUCH at once! If it is true that “we should think before we speak”—this is also definitely also TRUE with regard to writing.
Make sure you have downloaded (and preferably printed-out) the OUTLINE TEMPLATE that has been provided on the class Canvas page in “Modules”. You should be working directly from this provided OUTLINE. You may have used other outlines previously, but this one and its exact format is REQUIRED for this project (and ALL papers for this ENG5). You are welcome to download the document and begin filling your information into this template—HOWEVER, all formatting must stay intact, meaning all the numbers and letters as indicated WITH hanging indents (look up this term if you are unfamiliar) for all sub-sections, while also remaining in 12pt font, throughout. Also, there should not be any bolds and you will need to remove all instructional phrasing that describes what each section should be doing (in addition to things like “3-5 sentences”).
Regarding the INTRO:
Your 3 main components here are the 3 sub-sections, comprising Purpose, Context, and Thesis:
–Purpose—as stated, here you are to rephrase your Prompt (assignment details), in order to inform your reader what exactly your paper will achieve.
–Context—this “background and relevant info” should be general to your entire project—help your reader understand, basically, the CONTEXT of your Postman Paper.
–Thesis—Articulating your Main Point at the outset is crucial to letting your reader know where the essay is headed AND a great to make sure that YOU know what your main point is! …Who are your readers, by the way? You should NOT be thinking of your instructor as your audience, rather, these research papers should be intended for the uninformed public.
FINAL NOTE: Keep the INTRO brief, a half-page at the most—avoid giving your readers too much info that they have to keep in mind throughout the rest of the paper—this is merely an intro! Do what the OUTLINE Template requires, and not more (and you will get all the points for the INTRO).
Every BODY section of every OUTLINE should be marked: II. BODY
The most important thing here is to use the BODY to provide STRUCTURE for the different ideas that you will be building into your paper.
Other than that, three key abbreviations to remember for the content of the BODY are:
K-Q-S—these stand for: Keywords-Quotes-Sources
Keywords: Each section within the BODY (marked by A., B., C., etc.) needs a Keyword, or short Keyphrase that describes the idea being dealt with in that section. Sub-sections (marked by 1., 2., 3., etc.) will probably also have Keywords or Keyphrases describing the more detailed sub-ideas within the larger section. Your quotes and other evidence (ALL CITED) will most likely inhabit the sub-sub-sections (marked by a., b., c., etc.), being the most specific, detailed pieces of information in your project. Of course, these are general rules, but serve to emphasize both the demarcations (A., 1., a., etc.) and also stress the need for using Keywords and Keyphrases in the BODY of the OUTLINE—also, you should be thinking in terms of IDEAS as you move from section to section, to subsections. NOT paragraphs—any given section or IDEA can have one or more paragraphs (that is up to you to determine).
Quotes & Sources (Q-S): It is very efficient to collect the quotes/data/evidence (remember to CITE paraphrases, as well) in your OUTLINE. This way you will not be interrupting your writing flow and going to find quotes—instead, you will be able to just cut and paste them from your OUTLINE. This is to say that it is REQUIRED that your quotes are included in the OUTLINE. And, of course, wherever there is a quote, there must be a CITATION, in this case it is what is called an in-text citation. The OWL website has extensive information on MLA style in-text citation.
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Putting these citations with the quotes in the OUTLINE is also beneficial in that you will have already covered that sometimes tedious process and, again, will NOT be interrupting your concentration on writing.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL NOTE ON OUTLINES: This Paper is fairly limited in length, when compared to the longer 10-20 page papers you can expect in your upper division classes, regardless of your major. The goal here is to familiarize you with the Research Paper writing process, which you will later be able to apply to any and all papers. THIS OUTLINE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND—with an efficient OUTLINE, you will write this paper very quickly and easily(less than two hours is very likely). This OUTLINE-based writing experience is one that I very much want you to have, so that you can gain confidence in the process and successfully achieve all the stages, simply by going step-by-step. Think of the OUTLINE as a recipe or a blueprint: as long as you follow the directions and pay attention to detail, you will end up with a delicious meal or solid construction; same with OUTLINE-based writing! I doubt that you would trust some builders to build a home without blueprints, and perhaps you’ve had some experience with cooking where there was not recipe and things got a little weird.
…Better to have a plan, have all the thinking, quoting and citation done so that—I cannot stress this enough—your mind is free to concentrate on the communicative act of writing (which is challenging enough without additional distractions and tasks). Amen.
Once you have assembled a working OUTLINE and are feeling ready to begin turning it into prose (look up this word), take a moment to finalize your Works Cited Page (instead of waiting to do that last…); from here on out you just want to focus on WRITING AND REVISING your Research Paper.
OWL also has a section (and some videos) on MLA Works Cited, which you should visit to make sure you get all those easy points on the last page of your paper.
BTW: …In tallying the total number of sources for this paper you should have come up with: 5!
= Postman+2 specific cited exs.+Economist+research Social Media academic article
NOTES on researching the Peer-Reviewed Article required for the Postman Paper
- Select Article Databases [You should also take a moment to visit all the other links on the left-hand side of this webpage—these are filled with excellent academic/research support resources available through the Library System (and paid for with your fees). In the Digital Age, libraries exist both as fixed locations and on the web—these dedicated resources have been created to help students with a great many aspect of their academic experience (and can do SO MUCH MORE for you than Google!)) Please inspect carefully, so that you are aware of these valuable resources.] Especially “Information Literacy Tutorials”!
- Notice as well that you have the GREEN button to “Chat with a Librarian,” in addition to Database Tutorials that will also cover the information on Research Strategies that is introduced here.
- You will primarily be using the first two databases for this Research Project: Gale Academic OneFile Select and Academic Search Complete—but should also take the time to look at the other “Databases with Scholarly Articles,” especially if they seem related to your research.
- Once you select either of these databases, go to Advanced Search (this will allow you to input multiple Search Terms) and be sure to find and click the box for “peer-reviewed” (which will ensure that you are browsing peer-reviewed (aka scholarly articles)—you should look up the term peer-reviewed so that you understand its significance. It is also important to select the box for “full-text”, which means you will be able access the entire article.
- Once you have found some interesting titles, click on them and look for an “Abstract”—this is a brief summary that will give a deeper understanding of what the article covers. Reading the Abstracts is an efficient way to narrow your selection of potential articles, without having to read them in their entirety. NOTICE, as well, the Google drive, email and “folder” features that are available in both databases; these allow you to collect in one place all the articles that you think might be useful for your project.
- Finally, make sure you examine the “Subject Terms” that are included with each article’s informational listing—clicking on the “Subject Terms” can help you find other related articles/topics and help you to DIVERSIFY YOUR SEARCH TERMS (the more that you give search engines to work with, the better your chances at finding something really useful for your project)
OK, so, …off you go, on this project to”update” Postman’s ideas into the 21st DIGITAL Century. Best of Luck, and have fun! (that’s the secret to writing good papers)